One of the storylines going into last Sunday’s game between the Miami Dolphins and Baltimore Ravens was, could the Dolphins shut down Lamar Jackson and the Ravens like a year ago? The Dolphins didn’t have the same success. They were a no-show until the 4th when they made a 4th down stop and forced a field goal to give the offense the ball with time to win the game.
I figured the Ravens would make adjustments and play better this time around. However, I didn’t expect the Dolphins to play so poorly the first 3threequarters and give up 38 points. The Ravens aren’t an offensive juggernaut, but they have one of the most exciting quarterbacks in the game in Jackson, with his ability to make plays with his legs. Jackson isn’t as accomplished as a passer, but through 3 quarterbacks, he had a perfect passer rating and was carving the Dolphins secondary at will. On top of that, he busted loose for a 79-yard touchdown run. The only thing that kept the score from being bigger was Jackson’s touchdown run in the 1st quarter being overturned, and then he fumbled the snap on the next play on 4th down.
Mike sat down with Miami Dolphins Legend Larry Csonka yesterday on the https://t.co/jTLjtUms4R Podcast. Hear Larry talk about his life, the 72' season, and his new book! #FinsUP https://t.co/WYht8vXAUh
— DolphinsTalk.com (@DolphinsTalk) September 21, 2022
One criticism about the Dolphins’ defense is they don’t play well against good offenses and quarterbacks. Sunday didn’t inspire confidence in me with that theory, and with the Buffalo Bills coming to town next week, I’m wondering what I will get from the defense. The Ravens didn’t have their starting tackles on Sunday, and the Dolphins couldn’t generate any pressure on Jackson, let alone sack him. The Ravens don’t have all-pro receivers, yet Rashad Bateman burned our best defender Xavien Howard for a 75-yard catch and run touchdown. Howard played the worst game that I can ever remember as a pro. He even dropped an easy pick 6 in the 4th quarter; now that happens, but he has Stefon Diggs this week, and he has to be on his game, or Diggs could put up a game like he had Monday Night with 12 catches, 148 yards 3 TDs. I was very disappointed the defense couldn’t get any pressure on Jackson, and the Dolphins are supposed to have an excellent defensive line. Emmanuel Ogbah, Jalen Phillips, Melvin Ingram, and others need to put pressure on Josh Allen, or we are on our way to an 8th straight loss to the Bills.
We can all agree that the Dolphins have a good defense, and it’s been the backbone of our team for the last few years. However, they need to start playing better against offenses like the Bills starting this Sunday. The Dolphins will play other good offenses, like the Cincinnati Bengals in two weeks, the Los Angeles Chargers, and others. If this defense wants to be considered elite, which it has the potential to be, then they can’t lay eggs against good teams like they did Sunday against the Ravens. Maybe Sunday was just a bad game, and they can recover, but if I’m going by the history of the last couple of years with this group, it’s a major concern for me, especially if the Dolphins want to challenge the Bills in the AFC East. Ogbah, Phillips, Christian Wilkins, Howard, and Javon Holland, to step up and assert yourselves as an elite defense starting Sunday.